City PIB Casino deal explained

Agreement signing with the Penticton Indian Band

The City recently announced a historic agreement with the Penticton Indian Band (see link below)…the following explains the rationale behind the decision. .

This milestone agreement lays the foundation for a desperately needed, long-term economic development partnership that provides significant benefits to both the City of Penticton and the Penticton Indian Band. To be very clear this is an excellent deal for the taxpayers of the City of Penticton. Yes the PIB will receive approximately $160K as part of the HLG revenue share, but this is more than made up for when you factor in $500K in lease and tax payments (not eligible for revenue sharing) on top of the existing casino revenues that we already receive. We expect this to dramatically increase over time.

Until now, we have never had the opportunity or mechanism to transform good intentions and desire for partnership into a tangible relationship that would enhance opportunities to attract jobs and investment. One needs to look no further than the economic partnerships between First Nations and Municipalities neighbors in communities such as Kelowna and Osoyoos to see the benefits.

Our community is in great need of more land for commercial and light industrial uses. Penticton is landlocked by lakes to the north and south of us, and mountains to the east, and relocating businesses have reported significant challenges finding affordable vacant land within City limits. This makes the Penticton Indian Band lands a critical location for economic activity that will create jobs. The 10 per cent casino hosting revenue sharing will allow for the Penticton Indian Band to build-out infrastructure at the Satikw Crossing which will allow for industry to develop. Without infrastructure there is no industry, without industry there are no jobs, and without jobs there are no people to help our communities to grow and be vibrant. This agreement addresses that, and we view it as an investment that will pay off with more utility revenues, commerce and job creation, which will lead to more people moving and living here.

Having support from the neighboring governments was a requirement of the relocation process from BC Lotteries so we leveraged this as an opportunity to develop a win-win situation with a long-term economic agreement. As a result, we have secured the casino development, which will provide more revenue annually to the City than what we currently receive.

Over the next 40 years the City will conservatively receive over $100 Million in revenues which are significantly more than we receive today. This continued revenue stream helps to put the City on a sustainable path for the next generation.  Furthermore, the City will also enjoy revenues from servicing the Channel Lands, which would include sewer and potentially dark fibre (internet backbone).

Council’s resolve was to invest into our future and partner so both communities could have opportunity to prosper, and we are excited about what this agreement will bring now and for the long-term.